A postman has been given a suspended prison sentence after stealing £700 worth of parcels from the public.
Stephen Tempest was jailed for four months, suspended for 12 months, for the theft of 21 postal packages, belonging to the Royal Mail, in a major breach of trust, and for theft of a pair of £40 jogging trousers.
He was also placed under an electronically monitored nightly curfew for two months, ordered to pay £1,000 to the Royal Mail and told to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work in the community.
The 30-year-old’s haul of stolen goods included 22 items of clothing, including a light blue jacket worth more than £160, and two PlayStation computer games.
He admitted the theft of the 21 packets belonging to Royal Mail between November 20, 2012, and November 22, 2012, and also to the theft of a pair of £40 jogging trousers between November 10, 2013, and November 21, 2013.
Tempest ripped open packages while working at Skipton
Delivery Office, searching for items of clothing in his size, Bradford Crown Court was told.
His stealing spree was stopped when he tried to exchange a pair of £40 jogging bottoms at Just Jeans in Skipton. But the shop owner recognised the trousers as being ones the shop had sold online and alerted the Royal Mail.
Tempest, of Cleveland Street, Colne, who had no previous convictions, worked as a postman for 11 and a half years from 2002.
During a search of his house, police found ten clothing tags in his waste bin.
At a previous hearing at Skipton Magistrates’ Court, Tempest could not explain why he had taken to stealing and all of the clothing he seized had been in his size and were for his own use. James O'Garra, prosecuting, said: “An estimate of the total value of the items is £700. He specifically targeted items of clothing and admitted he had been stealing for one year.”
Judge John Potter told Tempest: “You have come close to going into custody immediately.
“Your offences cause the loss of confidence in the postal service by the public.
“Behaviour like this is anti-social and undermines the community. Breach of trust is significant here.
“For a year, you targeted items of post that had come into your hands.”